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A new year – new changes

Happy New Year to you all! What a year it’s been in 2020! None of us could have imagined the situations we have had to face all around the world – many a result of the Covid-19 pandemic which has infected over 84 million people worldwide and caused more than 1.8 million deaths! ….national shutdowns and closed borders; empty city streets due to stay-at-home orders; overflowing hospitals running out of supplies; stores, businesses, schools and even churches closed for months; masks and social distancing; riots and government upheaval….. our daily lives have been challenged and changed unimaginably! Even children (usually oblivious to national events and frightening headlines) have been affected by being unable to attend school or play with friends – some even losing beloved family members to the virus.

It’s been an incredible year, full of change – and change is something most people would rather avoid! We prefer our “normal” daily life, with our regular daily routine, our familiar foods and pastimes. Change is often uncomfortable, but the reality is that life IS ever-changing! We read that in the very beginning, on the 4th day “… God said, “Let there be lights in the sky to separate day from night. These lights will be used for signs, seasons, days and years.” Genesis 1:14 (ICB) Ever since then, “time” has been marching on….we may watch the minutes pass as we wait for popcorn in the microwave, or count the days until Christmas or a birthday. The magnificent beauty of the sun shining on Fall leaves cannot be preserved – just a few days later the leaves will be dead and brown. Every parent knows how a precious little baby suddenly seems to change into an energetic, strong-willed toddler almost overnight! It is said that anything that doesn’t change is dead – yet even dead bodies decay and rot! Rocks are worn away by wind or water over time and change even the landscape. Like it or not, we might as well learn how to deal with change! In Genesis 8:22, we read As long as the earth continues, there will be planting and harvest. Cold and hot, summer and winter, day and night will not stop.”

Throughout this holiday season so many people have said: “…hoping 2021 will be a better year!”  The reality is that probably we will all have to face new problems and more changes during the course of the coming year. But as Christians we each hold the key to handling it all – we know that Jesus is still on His throne and our Heavenly Father knows everything we must face AND how we can get through it! So we can embrace whatever changes come, knowing that God is truly in control! We can read His promise in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (NLT)

As I have grown older I have come to understand better how we have different seasons in our lifShirleye, and even in our ministry. It has helped me recognize that when one season ends, instead of feeling sad or disappointed, we can actually look forward to what the new season will bring. I started writing the monthly Joy with Jesus kids messages over 11 years ago, and I believe now it is time to end them. I plan instead to post more frequent messages on Shirley’s blog and I encourage you to subscribe online if you would like to keep updated. May God continue to bless and guide you as you carry on your part in His plan in 2021! Shirley.

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